Warm and spicy classic mulled cider that’s ready in 10 minutes, with the option of adding wine to make it even fancier.
Usually when I make homemade drinks, it means there’s some good times ahead. Although—and don’t take this the wrong way—some days I do sneak a couple of sips in, especially if we’re talking about wine. Today is one of those days.
Easy to Make
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and let the whole thing simmer for several minutes to steep and deepen the flavors. That’s it.
I usually add 1-3 cups of wine. I suggest starting by adding one cup of your favorite white or red wine, either dry or half-dry. If it’s not enough, continue to add until you reach the desired taste. One cup is ideal if you want a strong apple flavor, especially if you’re using white wine. Two cups will give you a great balance of flavors. More than two cups produces a very strong wine flavor that might begin overpowering the cider. All options are great, depending on what you want and how much wine you need at that particular moment.
Additionally, white wine will leave your drink with the bright cider color, while red wine will make it, well, red.
You might also want to add a sweetener such as honey, pure maple syrup, or sugar. About 2-4 tablespoons should be enough if you’re adding two cups of wine, depending on the sweetness of the wine and how sweet you want your drink.
Add the wine and sweetener after simmering the other ingredients for 10 minutes, and heat through. I like to add the wine at the end so that the alcohol doesn’t evaporate too much.
You can add the zest and juice of 1 orange instead of adding slices; both options taste great. On the other hand, if you want to totally skip the orange, that’s okay too.
You can strain the drink before pouring into glasses if you want it completely smooth, but I don’t find it necessary.
- 2 quarts/liters apple cider
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5 whole cloves
- ¼ whole nutmeg, finely grated
- 3 star anise
- 1 vanilla pod split lengthwise or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 1 apple, cut into small cubes or thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
- In a large saucepan place apple cider, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, vanilla, and orange slices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Ladle into cups, add apples for garnish, and serve hot.